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About Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines

Improving the operational performance of the nation’s offices, schools, hospitals, and other commercial buildings offers significant energy savings. It also requires highly skilled and qualified workers, particularly as building technologies become more advanced. Through the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, industry now has national guidelines from which to develop high quality and nationally recognized training and certification programs, helping to address challenges found in the energy efficiency workforce with quality, consistency, and scalability across certification and certificate programs.

The Department of Energy (DOE) responded to these challenges by working with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and industry stakeholders to develop the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, voluntary national guidelines to improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce credentials for four key energy-related jobs: Building Energy Auditor, Building Commissioning Professional, Building Operations Professional, Energy Manager. You can view a full list of DOE-recognized programs here

The Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines align all elements of the Better Buildings Workforce Framework, with the goal of supporting high-quality industry and government-recognized credentials for 4 key commercial energy-related job titles. The Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines are focued on four priority commercial buildings job titles. Industry subject matter experts review job descriptions and associated skills and knowledge in the table below to develop Job Task Analyses (JTA). Together, the JTA documents and the certification schemes comprise the basis of the voluntary, industry-developed, and industry and government-recognized Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines.

Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines Scope
Job TitlesJob Descriptions
Building Energy AuditorThe Commercial Building Energy Auditor is an energy solutions professional who assesses building systems and site conditions, analyzes and evaluates equipment and energy usage, and recommends strategies to optimize building resource utilization.
Building Commissioning ProfessionalThe Building Commissioning (Cx) Professional is an individual who leads, plans, coordinates and manages a commissioning team to implement commissioning processes in new and existing buildings.
Building Operations ProfessionalThe Building Operations Professional manages the maintenance and operation of building systems and installed equipment, and performs general maintenance to maintain the building’s operability, optimize building performance, and ensure the comfort, productivity and safety of the building occupants.
Energy ManagerAn Energy Manager is responsible for managing and continually improving energy performance in commercial buildings by establishing and maintaining an energy program management system that supports the mission and goals of the organization.

Download the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines FactSheet.

Benefits for the Entire Industry

The voluntary Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines will benefit everyone with a stake in improving commercial building energy efficiency.

  • Credentials will be built upon a clear set of industry-developed guidelines.
  • New and experienced professionals will better understand their training and certification options and seize opportunities to improve their technical skills.
  • Employers, building owners, government officials and program administrators across the country can use the guidelines to identify skilled and qualified workers.
  • Overall, nationally recognized and consistent guidelines will reduce market confusion and uncertainty while lowering costs and producing better credentials, better workers, and better buildings.

Visit the Building Science Education Solution Center for more information on access easy-to-use training materials for a full range of building-related professions. 

JTAs and Certification Schemes

Download the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines Job Task Analyses and Certification Schemes at the NIBS website.

DOE Recognition

Get recognized for providing new and experienced professionals with training and certifications to improve their technical skills.

Certification Programs

DOE recognizes certification programs that are aligned with the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines and have received qualified accreditation by ANSI, IAS, or other qualified bodies who are in compliance with ISO/IEC 17024:2012.